LONDON - A five-step plan by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to exit lockdown has been published by the Daily Mail newspaper.
According to the newspaper, a leaked version of the plan has suggested the first changes on Monday will see garden centres allowed to open and unlimited exercise allowed.
There will also be a return to sunbathing and picnics, more key workers' children will go back to school, staff will start returning to businesses that stayed open during the lockdown and open-air markets may reopen.
The second stage at the end of May will then see primary schools gradually return with smaller classes and some outdoor sports such as golf and tennis potentially resuming – possibly along with open-air swimming.
Stage three will see football back on as the Premier League aims for a return date of June 12 under 'Project Restart' which will see the league's 98 remaining games played with no fans at a series of neutral grounds in an unprecedented situation.
Secondary schools are expected to reopen by the end of June before the planned summer holidays, which would be the last stage of the phased return of pupils across the country.
But teachers across the UK have warned they 'must not be used an experiment'. Teaching unions say a badly thought-out scheme could lead to a 'catastrophic' increase in coronavirus infections.
Outdoor gatherings of up to 30 people may be allowed by the end of June, with scientific evidence showing that people are less likely to catch the virus outdoors - although social distancing measures may still be in place.
Cafes are expected to be allowed to reopen in full by the end of June, although there are also hopes that they could take the shutters down earlier than that if they can provide outdoor seating for customers.
Step four will see pubs and restaurants allowed to reopen by the end of August but with strict social distancing rules and reduced diner numbers in place to lower the chances of spreading the virus.
A third of pub and restaurant bosses are already expecting to permanently close sites as a result of Covid-19, with the businesses having been forced to shut their doors to the public since March.
Step five is in October, when all remaining areas of the economy will reopen - although this could still be with social distancing measures in place.
It is at this point that gyms are likely to reopen, although businesses in various industries are concerned that even when the lockdown ends, customers will continue to stay away as fears remain over picking up the virus.
Many business owners are worried about the future of their companies, and the Bank of England has warned that the virus could see the economy plunge 14 per cent this year in the worst annual fall for more than 300 years.(FA)